Kayunga LC V Chairperson, Andrew Muwonge and the Electoral Commission have asked the Court of Appeal to strike out an appeal filed by his rival Harriet Nakwedde, saying it was filed out of the stipulated time frame. Muwonge through his lawyer Anthony Bazira on Tuesday appeared before a panel of three Court of Appeal Justices comprising Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Muzamiru Mutangula Kibedi, and Christopher Gashirabake.
Bazira told the Court that Nakwedde’s appeal was filed nine months late and that she failed to take an essential step in the pursuit of their appeal within a reasonable time. Bazira and the Electoral Commission’s head of Litigation Eric Sabiiti now argue that there is no appeal, saying the petition should be struck off the court record with costs.
EC declared Muwonge from the ruling National Resistance Movement as the winner of the Kayunga LC V chairperson seat with 31,830 votes, followed by Nakwedde from the opposition National Unity Platform-NUP party with 31,308 votes. Independent candidate Majid Nyanzi came third with 1,287 votes in a by-election race that attracted six candidates following the death of Ffeffeka Ssekibogo who had been elected in the 2021 general election.
Dissatisfied with the results, Nakwedde petitioned the High Court in Mukono. She accused Muwonge either personally or through his agents of having engaged in bribery in ten places and conspiring with the Electoral Commission to alter results from 130 polling stations across the district.
She also accused President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, and senior NRM party officials including the Secretary-General Richard Todwong, the Communications Director, Emmanuel Dombo, and the Director for Mobilization Rosemary Sseninde of bribing voters.
But, on July 14th, 2022, High Court Judge Alex Mackay Ajiji dismissed Nakwedde’s petition with costs for having been served late thereby making it a nullity. He subsequently declared Muwonge the duly elected Kayunga LC 5 Chairperson. But dissatisfied with the decision, Nakwedde appealed in the Court of Appeal through her lawyer Jonathan Erutu.
When the matter came up for hearing Tuesday, both the EC and Muwonge’s lawyer raised a preliminary point of law and asked the court to strike out the entire appeal for having been filed late. The justices promised to address the appeal and the point of law, in their decision which will be delivered on notice. Nakwedde insists that her victory was robbed and wants the court to nullify Muwonge’s victory.